Quick Tip: Showing solution branch name in Visual Studio title

By default, Visual Studio shows the name of the opened solution name in the title. This makes it easier to navigate among multiple instances of Visual Studio. You see the solution name next to the Visual Studio icon in the taskbar and also in the task manager, when you have to (and we all sometimes have to) kill the right Visual Studio because it stopped responding.

I work with Git, switching branches frequently, especially working on features and bug fixes. In this situation, it would be nice if Visual Studio showed not only the solution name but also the current branch in its title. No problem, there is an extension for that.

The extension is called Rename Visual Studio Window and it works with Visual Studio 2015, 2013, 2012, 2010. This extension supports Git, so you can easily add the branch name to the title with a config like mine using [gitBranchName].

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Using the DebuggerDisplay attribute for better debugging experience

When debugging a C# program in Visual Studio, I tend to always hover over the variables to glance at their values and structure instead of explicitly writing their names into the watch window. If I want to explore say a collection, I need to unfold each of the items using the + button to get an idea about the data:

This is not very comfortable, so thankfully, there is a way to make this experience better, using the DebuggerDisplay attribute. This attribute can be applied to any class (and struct, enum, property, field, delegate, assembly) and allows you to define the information about the class you want to to see in the debugger.

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Visual Studio Achievements: a bit of gamification to your programming

Gamification is a great concept that works really well for some people, including me. Gamification may very well be the reason for success of projects like StackOveflow or Duolingo.

Visual Studio Achievements

Visual Studio Achievements is Visual Studio plugin that rewards you for good practices like having 1000 localized values (Localization Master) and even for bad practices like writing a single line of 300 characters long (Scroll Bar Wizard). For some of the achievements you need to have FxCop installed, but the majority get awarded without the need for it.

You can find out interesting information about your programming, check out my profile.

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Updating Azure Toolkit is always a pain

From time to time I need to develop or maintain a small Windows Azure project. This time I wanted to create the whole project in F#. The first thing I needed to to was to update the Azure toolkit 1.8 (October 2012) but updating Azure Toolkit is always a pain. I started Web Platform Installer, selected Azure Toolkit 1.8, Azure Tools 1.8 for VS2012 and installed everything including the dependencies. What was the result? The whole Azure integration in Visual Studio 2012 stopped working. The Azure templates completely disappeared and Visual Studio only offered me downloading the Azure Toolkit, which failed, because it was already installed. I ended up completely uninstalling everything with the name containing Azure and installing the Azure toolkit again using the link from Visual Studio.

Why cannot this work better?